More Rookie Camp Talk

Posted: May 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 41 Comments »

It sounds like everyone is impressed with Brandon Boykin.  He was an athletic playmaker in the SEC so that should be enough to get him instant credibility, but some who don’t follow college football still had their questions about the 4th round pick.  After watching him for a couple of days in practice, it seems that he has shown enough to get people’s attention.

Boykin played the slot and outside.  He fielded punts.  He showed the kind of athleticism and football skills you want from a guy in those roles.  I’m sure he made plenty of simple mistakes. No one comes through rookie camp unscathed.  All the players are learning on the fly.  This is their introduction to the NFL.

We need Boykin to step up as a rookie.  If he can be the nickel corner and KOR, the 2012 Eagles will be a better team for it.

* * * * *

Mychal Kendricks got a lot of buzz this weekend.  It is good to know that his athleticism is evident to everyone.  Our LBs last year were not exactly the most athletic guys in the world.  The Eagles really liked Kendricks, both scouts and coaches.  Let’s hope they chose well.

For more on Kendricks, check out Les Bowen’s article on him.

* * * * *

Yesterday I talked about how “interesting” it was to see the Eagles pushing Bryce Brown aggressively.  One reader wondered why this was interesting, since we drafted Brown and Polk was a UDFA.  Fair question.

Brown has barely been relevant since leaving high school.  Polk was the heart and soul of the UW offense for 3 years.  He had 837 touches in that time and helped lead UW to a pair of bowl games (1 win).  Polk is much more experienced than Brown. In theory, he should be much more NFL-ready.

The Eagles drafted Brown because he was the more talented of the pair, but when we talk about trying to develop rookies as role players, you’d wonder if the smart thing isn’t to go with the guy with the better background.  I saw Brown as a major project.  Polk was more of a typical rookie that would have a more normal learning curve.

The Eagles are all in right now with Brown.  He’s the #1 RB in this rookie camp.  Andy Reid is taking time to personally coach him.  It really feels like the Eagles want to see what he can do and if he can hold up to pressure.

I’m not judging this as good or bad.  I just find it fascinating.  To me, this isn’t typical Eagles thinking.  I’m looking forward to seeing if it works or not.

* * * * *

What should we make of the new format?

I have mixed feelings.  On one hand, there is a strong argument to be made for rookies getting their first taste of action in this format.  The pace is a tad slower.  They can be coached more one-on-one.  The players have a chance to get their feet wet before being in a full team environment, when things are kinda crazy.

On the other hand, there is something to be said for players being in the team practice first so that they can get a taste of what the NFL is really like.  Then the players can go to rookie camps and have an understanding of the level they are shooting for.

The Eagles didn’t choose this arrangement.  It is part of the new CBA.  It will be interesting to see how the 2012 rookies compare to previous classes.  Maybe this format will work better.  Maybe not.  Some people love it when they are thrown into the deep end of the pool.  Others want to get in the shallow part and work their way back.

* * * * *

PE.com videos are here.  You have to look for the ones that say “Rookie Camp: First look at the OL”.  Or WRs or DL or whatever.  Some are on page1, others on page 2.

* * * * *

DL Maurice Fountain tore his patellar tendon.  Hate to hear that.  He was a longshot for the team, but you wanted him to be able to continue chasing his dream.


  • teltschikfakeout88

    So far my only concern with Cox is that regardless of his combine times and what flashes on tape, he looks a little soft for being so athletic. Not that a DT tweener should be chiseled and cut. I think our trainers will transform him. Also his body type makes me think he has tiny pins. I am concerned about lower leg injuries with this guy as he is just not as thick at the pins. I am sure there are plenty of guys playing in the trenches with his body that are durable but still I am slightly concerned in the long run.

    • JJ_Cake

      I’d like to know why the nfl.com was making a big deal about Castillo getting after Cox in the rookie camp. Juan didn’t seem to be a fiery in your face type of coach. Anyone know the real scoop?

      • nopain23

        Didn’t he head butt a player(who had a helmet on by the way) last year.that seems pretty fiery to me.also with ryans,cox,boykins,kendricks and curry added to the defense..i think we’re all FIRED up!

    • TommyLawlor

      Cox does need to work on lower body strength, but he’s got a big upper body. His body isn’t “soft” at all.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

        Are you suggesting Cox is hard?

        For real… I thought about not posting that, and then decided it was inevitable.

      • teltschikfakeout88

        In comparison to ther DT’s that are 330 yeah his body shape is slimmer….less jiggle. Just looking at him now I see him as a 295lb DT so I think he could be more cutup in a better workout program. In preparation of the draft he stayed at Miss State to work out versus going to some sort of elite trainer. I can see him turning some of that jiggle into something more. Then again what do I know about being a 295lb elite athlete.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

      We need a nickname…stat!

      Debating whether Cox is hard or soft is just too much!

  • nopain23

    Torn patellar…wow…season ending injuries in TC!…That’s my greatest fear this offseason.Everyday i’ll be checking in holding my breath that we don’t suffer a season altering injury.this season is so promising but all can quickly fall apart if one or two of our key guys(rookie or veteran) gets hurt.Iggles have hard bad luck with injuries the past few years.we’ve already lost Jason for the season.Let’s hope for a healthy raining camp.

    • TheRogerPodacter

      sounds like he will be put on the IR. gives him a chance to hang around for next year!

  • iskar36

    Tommy, thanks for addressing my question about Polk vs. Brown. Your comment is a lot clearer to me now. That being said, for me, I don’t put too much value in “depth chart” this early on. Both Polk and Brown will be given a chance to show the coaches who is a more talented RB/more NFL ready throughout the OTAs and TC. The Eagles will give the job to the one who plays better (assuming one of them does enough to earn a spot). Starting the rookie camp with “1st string” being the guy you drafted over the guy that was undrafted to me could be as simple of a thing as maintaining the logic of “we drafted Brown in the 7th instead of drafting Polk.” On top of that, from all the reports, Brown has been the more impressive of the two in this setting (no pads; more a display of athletic ability), so maybe the Eagles figured this would be a good setting to watch Brown in, but once the pads go on, Polk will have a better chance to show what he can do.

    • TommyLawlor

      The depth chart now is written in pencil. These guys will move up and down and some will even change positions. Players will move according to how they play.

      The only interesting thing now is just where/how high the players are being initially projected.

    • bridgecoach

      The issue with Brown will be how he handles adversity. If he brings a lunch pail attitude and works hard every down everyday – fantastic get. If he sulks and thinks he is being mistreated, or mishandled or misused – he won’t last long.

  • JRO91

    Brown just looks so smooth when he runs….very effortless. He could be the steal of the century if he pans out.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

      If he learns how to block he will make me forget that other RB who lost a year of his college career due to punching some chump in the face… What was that guys name again…. my memory is already starting to fade.

      • deshawnbentley

        LaGarette Blount

  • Kirk Belmont

    Tommy,
    How do you think Casey Matthews feels right now? Last year he came in and Juan and Andy were touting him as our starter and saying how mature and good he is. Now he is like a complete afterthought. Is he just a backup now? What do you think his mindset is?

    • TommyLawlor

      Casey probably loves it. No pressure. He can go play his butt off and earn some playing time, but he’s not the object of attention like last year.

      • Kirk Belmont

        Do you think he is still trying to start? Maybe on the strong side?

        • JRO91

          Casey will compete with Clayton and Rolle for the WLB…He could also be the backup at MLB. SAM should be between Chaney and Kendryks. Similar size and speed, just Kendryks is much better coming out of college.

        • TommyLawlor

          At SAM? Casey is good vs TEs, but if we truly want a speedy SAM, then Casey isn’t the guy. Last year he started at MLB and WLB. With Ryans at MLB and Chaney out for the OTAs, maybe Casey goes to WLB to battle with Rolle.

          We don’t know anything for sure. All we can do is speculate and complain for now.

          • http://twitter.com/theguyotc the guy

            “We don’t know anything for sure. All we can do is speculate and complain for now.”

            Nice to know even fans can get into the training camp spirit and find the place we’re best suited for with hard work and repetition.

  • John Cooper

    “Rookie Camp: First look at the DL” It sounded like Curry was getting an earful from Washburn and seemed not to look Washburn’s way during the session. Did you notice anything similar?

    • HazletonEagle

      I think there was another coach over there talking to him. He looked that way before lining up for each snap.

  • basebal646

    Hey Tommy, you may have mentioned this and I missed it, but otherwise I haven’t seen anyone bring the fact that brown is a RB that hasn’t been banged up a lot in college since he hasn’t been playing as much. That could be a big factor if he catches on since it could extend his career. What’s your take on that Tommy?

    • Yuri

      If you watch his one-on-one interview during the camp, this question was asked. Of course we are all considering it a good thing now, but who knows in reality.

  • T_S_O_P

    On the new format, I’m sure Henry (II) would have benefited from being able to attend camp. In a position where there will only likely be one other competitor for your job, you’d like as much time as him to earn it.

    I wonder this new format is maybe why we picked up a long snapper; who would have done it otherwise?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Sitko/1014187191 Mark Sitko

    In the D Line video posted on PE.com this weekend – skip to about 6 minutes in – Washburn goes off on Vinny Curry…and it is amazing. Vinny does the drill wrong the first time and Washburn gets so pissed…starts by calling him retarded…then he just bursts out at him right before he is about to go again “Knock that stupid shit off, get this shit right, right now!”..I love Washburn’s demand for excellence on every snap, even in drills…he is my hero…

    http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/multimedia/videos/Rookie-Camp-Getting-First-Look-at-D-Line/e57525af-c137-47e7-b61f-dc11497ed415

  • http://twitter.com/theguyotc the guy

    I think I like the new format for rookie camp, at least in principle.

    Considering how many college teams run non-pro style schemes, it makes sense to have coaches look at the new guys without any distractions. They can get the kind of personal attention they wouldn’t get with the vets around. And I think it would be valuable for the coaches to see later on who was really paying attention and absorbed the material.

    Honestly, I think they should be allowed to expand it a bit and add guys like Curtis Marsh. There are quite a few “experienced” players on the team who I think could benefit from it.

    As far as being thrown into the deep end goes, I have to think when they join the full team and see guys like Michael Vick and Nnamdi Asomugha running around while other experienced vets whose names they may know are struggling to hold their jobs, shock won’t be an issue.

    PS – I spelled Nnamdi’s name correctly on my first try without looking it up. I feel like I deserve an award (especially when I remember there are professional broadcasters who still think Asante’s last name is Samuels).

    • TheRogerPodacter

      i think this year is a special case. since there was very, very little offseason for last year’s rookies (and i guess you could even say it hurt the 2nd year guys last year), it would make sense for them to expand what players can attend this offseason’s activities.
      i would imagine they would at least include last year’s rookie class. give them a little bit of extra work to catch up, right?

    • http://twitter.com/alex_karklins Alex Karklins

      And now we get to put up with everyone mangling the spelling of “Mychal Kendricks” and “Brandon Boykin.” People always want to remove the “s” from my last name, so this is a topic near and dear to my heart.

    • iskar36

      Maybe I am missing something, but if they expand it a bit and add guys like Curtis Marsh, how would the new format be any different from the old format? In the past they still had a rookies only + a few select veterans mini camp (guys like Marsh, probably Jarrett, would have been brought in) right after the draft. Am I missing a significant difference in the format?

  • Yuri

    Re: rookie camp format. Would there have been so many try out players under the old system? I assume not.

  • bridgecoach

    Anyone else hearing scuttlebutt that Eugene Chung hated the Brandon Washington pick and expects him to be cut before the season?

    • ACViking

      Source for rumor?

      Chung’s reasons?

  • ACViking

    The three best athletes, clearly, at rookie camp — based on the PE.com videos — were:

    1. Kendricks
    2. Brown
    3. Demarious Johnson (Tulsa)

    All three seem a cut above the rest in terms of speed/smoothness/explosiveness.

    And Johnson . . . wow. He’s the closest thing to D-Jax quick I’ve seen in green (save for Tommy McDonald).

    On the first day of rookie camp, PE.com posted a video of the WRs. The first part show them all running slant routes

    Johnson made everyone look like they were jogging. McNutt (I think) was in line behind him. Wow, what a difference. Made McNutt look like a camp body.

    Johnson’s hits 5th gear after 1 step.

    Fun times now. Can’t wait to see how these guys do against NFL players.

  • JRO91

    Jason Peters fell and retore his achilles..had another surgery…the roll about he was using collapsed on him. He is suing the company. No joke here….Derrek Gunn and Mclane tweeted it. He is def gonna miss the season now…..

    • LiamGarrett

      Unreal. The article says the new injury is pushing his recovery time back only 3 weeks, but I suspect they might be trying to underplay it. This really sucks.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AHVR5EZERRCZSD77DMKWAEEPLA Steve H

      Proof that god never wants philadelphia to ever win a super bowl. He may as well just come down from the clouds and announce it with a megaphone at this point.

    • teltschikfakeout88

      Wow that is more unusual than a freak gardening accident.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Burak/556227989 Christopher Burak

    well shit, way to piss in my cheerios.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1116101444 Erik L. Richardson

    I hope you have something to say about Peters re-injuring his Achilles Tom? LT has to be top 3/4 issues for the draft and FA targets right?